Bad romancing for giant pandas

Central Station | 11 Apr 2019

Ocean Park's giant pandas Ying Ying and Le Le have failed to mate naturally for the ninth successive year, according to the park's executive director of zoological operations and conservation Michael Boos.

However, it does not mean all hope is lost as Boos said artificial insemination was conducted on Ying Ying to help increase her chance of pregnancy.

He added that the park will closely monitor the female panda's condition over the coming months.

The "Giant Panda Adventure" exhibit was subsequently reopened yesterday, after it was closed for three days in order to allow the pandas to mate.

The park said the gestation period for giant pandas lasts between 72 and 324 days, but it can only confirm a pregnancy 14 to 17 days before birth via an ultrasound scan.

In 2015, Ying Ying was sent back to the China Conservation and Research Center for the Giant Panda in Wolong, Sichuan, to mate with another panda, but suffered a miscarriage.

Ying Ying and Le Le have been trying to mate since 2011.

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